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>It will be interesting to see if the US tries to extradite him.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/live/2019/apr/11/wikileaks...

Edit: Indictment: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charg...




This is why "breaking" news confuses as much as it informs.

Has he been arrested for skipping bail on a UK court warrant? Yes.

Has he been arrested on a US indictment for extradition? Also yes.

These are two separate arrests. It just happens that one was once he was already at a police station. http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-arrest-of-julian-assan...

Edit: apparently the Swedish extradition is spinning up as well.


What confused me most is that he was arrested twice. It seems non-nonsensical to arrest him a second time (rather than simply charge him), given that he was already in police custody.

Does this signify something meaningful, such as a change of which legal basis the arrest is under, and thus a change to the rights he has?


Section 31 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act:

  Where—

    (a) a person—

      (i) has been arrested for an offence; and

      (ii) is at a police station in consequence of that arrest; and

    (b) it appears to a constable that, if he were released from that arrest, he would be liable to arrest for some other offence,

  he shall be arrested for that other offence.


That's because arresting someone isn't so much a matter of their physical custody as initiation of a legal process involving an assertion of custody. Think of it like process serving in civil cases, where it's easy to imagine multiple lawsuits proceeding in parallel.


It's also used as an unofficial form of punishment.


Or "official" form... see Japan's legal system, where prosecutors interrogate those arrested without legal council, and the right to post bail can be an award for a confession.

see: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/03/business/carlos-ghosn-nissan-...


For those who prefer the original source: http://news.met.police.uk/news/update-arrest-of-julian-assan...


The actual indictment:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1153481...

Snowden: The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama's DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.

https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/1116336550873317377


If Assange gets extradited on a charge that the previous administration wouldn't push but the administration his organization assisted in getting elected is willing to (because they don't care about such a paltry thing as "endangering the protections provided to freedom of the press by the US Constitution"), it will be the highest of ironies.


The US government is not a monolith, it consists of many competing factions.

It's not at all obvious which faction initiated the extradition request, or for what purpose.

It's possible this is to pressure Assange to provide evidence in the investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election.

It's also possible this is an attempt to sequester him to prevent disclosure of information about those events.

A third possibility is that this is an attack on the press.

Even without a conviction, it will have a chilling effect on journalists publishing classified information, which is not currently a crime.

With a conviction, it will establish a dark new precedent that criminalizes much of the most consequential reporting.

And that would not be irony, it would be tragedy.


The fourth possibility - and this one never ceases to be true in all cases when it comes to the Feds - is that the people seeking his prosecution are spiteful as hell. They are not used to not getting their way. It's extremely fearsome to go up against the US Government when it wants your neck, because they have so many ways to destroy your life all around the world. They have infinite resources for all practical purposes and can just keep coming at you.

One of the few consistencies I've seen in my lifetime across all major US Government agencies is that they seem to hold grudges forever. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, DOJ, IRS or SEC. Assange, out there, is a persistent waving defiance of their perceived power and reach (and worse, right in the US sphere of influence).


Supporting your point are people like Poitras getting extra, random screening after publishing documentaries about US wars. They've often been vindictive given it's power-loving, egotistical, image-conscious politicians running them.


Not sure why you're getting grayed down, but what you say is right on the money.


+1. When I was a Boy Scout, I had confirmation direct from an FBI agent that once somebody is wanted, the Agency has a long memory and a long reach.

The anecdote he shared was a fugitive fled to Saudi Arabia. Over a decade and a half, the fugitive grew a small business empire and was well-connected. In tandem with allies in Saudi Arabia, the FBI arranged a lavish party on a yacht to which their target was invited. The yacht sailed out to international waters and FBI agents apprehended him and put him on a Navy cruiser out at sea.


What I wonder is how those same people in the US would feel if countries like China or Russia did the same thing openly.


I've been involved in enough government stuff to know that resources like that don't get spent unless the target is _really_ bad.

The FBI often refers cases with single digit millions in losses to state and local, because the SAs are busy with bigger cases.


Does it matter if they do the same thing (or worse) openly or covertly?

Russia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvine...

China: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Yingying_Zhan...


Uh, you sure you linked the right article for China?


It's interesting that it may have been avoidable if he'd accepted rendition to Sweden to stand trial for the sexual assault accusation, given that the previous administration was apparently uninterested in extraditing him for this charge.

He likely made the situation worse by hiding out in the embassy---he became a symbol of something untouchable by American power, and this administration cares more about that sort of perception than the previous one.


Deport to Sweden then deport to the USA was the scheme Assange was afraid of IIRC. Something about Sweden having a stronger deportation treaty than the UK...


As evidenced by the "Cablegate" leak, it's more the fact that when the US government tells the Swedish government to jump, the latter asks "how high?" like a trained fucking poodle.

Regardless of which side is in power.


Link the leak? In this case, extraditing to Sweden on a wholly unrelated charge than to extradite to the US seems like a thing Sweden would not want because it would have hurt their credibility in future extraditions. All speculative now, ofc.

Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_diplomatic_cable...

Sweden has pretty much zero credibility when it comes to extraditions requested by the US: https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-...


> The US government is not a monolith, it consists of many competing factions.

The original comment said "administration", not "government". The current administration IS largely a monolith, given that nearly every high-level cabinet appointee has either been unqualified for the role or are ideologues who appear to have been hired on the basis of their loyalty to the Pres.

- Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser

- Scott Pruit as head of the EPA

- Ben Carson as Sec of Housing

- Rex Tiller as Sec of State

- Herman Cain and Stephen Moore on the board of the Fed

The list goes on an on.


I chose to say "US government" instead of "administration" because it may or may not have been the "administration" that requested the UK to extradite Assange.

Other factions within the US government are attempting to hold the executive branch in check, and it's possible that one of these factions requested the arrest and extradition.

At this point we do not know.


> I chose to say "US government" instead of "administration" because it may or may not have been the "administration" that requested the UK to extradite Assange.

No one outside of the administration has the authority to request extradition.


Irony seems to be deprecated these days.


> The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama's DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.

That's an argument against the desirability of the charge because of knock on effects (or, rather, because of some other actors past perception of such effects), not an argument supporting the claim that the charge is weak. In fact, were it weak, it would pose little danger even if it was the kind of charge that, considerations of strength aside, would pose danger.


Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense. Perhaps in the sense that while a crime can be proven, it's not an appropriate use of public resources to prosecute. Or perhaps because there is prima facie evidence of a crime but First Amendment arguments could potentially prevent the government from securing a conviction. I haven't yet found a source for the claim that the DOJ previously declined to prosecute, which might shed some light on this.


> Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense.

No, prosecutorial decisions are not, even in theory, made based solely on the strength of cases; while that is a factor, evaluation of importance (including cost/benefit considerationa), which are ultimately policy decisions which different decision-makers (and even the same decision-maker at a different time, particularly if facts pertinent to the prioritization but not the strength the of the case change) are likely to see differently even with the same view of strength of the case, are also a factor.

Plus, available evidence and relevant case law can change over time; even if the case was weak during the previous Administration the same case might not be weak now.

> Surely if a previous DOJ refused to prosecute the case it is 'weak' in some sense

That's not a matter of the case being weak, that's a matter of policy on which actors with different policy preferences will differ even with perfect information and judgement regarding application of those preferences.

> Or perhaps because there is prima facie evidence of a crime but First Amendment arguments could potentially prevent the government from securing a conviction.

That would be weakness, but no one has made a coherent First Amendment argument that would bar prosecution for conspiracy to break into a government computer system manifest in an offer to help break a password and actual attempts at that. A lot of emotional appeals lacking a specific argument have been made in that direction, but that's not the same thing.


If your point was that Snowden shouldn't have described the case as 'weak' if what he meant was merely 'the prosecutors shouldn't have filed it,' because some people would insist that 'weak' is a term of art that specifically refers to the strength of the evidence and not the broader merits of the prosecution decision, then point proven.

Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less) is that this is all caused by fears from the Obama administration personnel: https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/394036-How-Comey-int...

Though it is also the narrative on russia propaganda sites https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201806271065837436-comey-as...


> Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less)

TheHill is solid right (or maybe center-right if one views the neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party as center-left instead of center-right.) It's not “left-center” in any case.


>Interesting, as the current narrative (on thehill.com, a left-center bias news source no less) is that this is all caused by fears from the Obama administration personnel

The author isn't left-center biased. It's the opposite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Solomon

>John F. Solomon is an American media executive and columnist. He is currently vice president of digital video and an opinion contributor for The Hill.[1] He is known primarily for his tenure as an executive and editor-in-chief at The Washington Times.[2] He has been accused of biased reporting in favor of conservatives, and of repeatedly manufacturing faux scandals


TheHill is right-center (although it's right-leaning in the old Bush/Romney sense, not the newer Trump sense):

https://www.adfontesmedia.com/product/media-bias-chart-4-0-d...


I think there is a problem in this Matrix as CNN appears very close to the center :) I'm proposing another classification system based on a simple binary checkbox named "Telegraphist of the state department" and I am putting the entirety of mainstream media in it.


Sounds like a pretty useless classification system for the current situation, honestly


In other words "they're all the same".


It’s odd, I just heard Greenwald pinning it on the Trump admin. Not the legacy of of Obama’s DoJ. I guess he’d like to see Trump personally involved to rescind the prev DoJ indictment?

Also international left is still on his side defending him, but thd US left want to see him hung out to dry. Interesting split.


The "left" is too broad a stroke to paint with for this situation. The left in the US is quite split on these issues (and an increasing number of other issues).

The so-called "New Democrats" (think Clinton, Biden, Kamala Harris) are surely who you are referring to; they want him crucified. The "progressive" wing of the left (think Ralph Nader) do NOT fit that description. IMHO as a lifelong Southern California resident in Los Angeles, the progressive left has more support among common people, but the Clinton Democrats have more support from the donor class. Hence, the media narrative of the American left is dominated by the corporatist dems.


I don’t believe the progressive left have more support among common people. They have more support among a small minority of very vocal people on social media which makes their influence seem much larger than it is. I think we’ll see a huge backlash against progressives in the next election cycle.


I suppose we will see. The Republican establishment thought the same thing about Trump in 2016 -- a small but vocal minority.

By and large, people I spoke to during 2016 were not fans of Hillary Clinton, but had resigned to the fact the she would be the candidate by virtue of her wealthy donors.

Identity politics is still a big thing on the left, so the fact that Bernie Sanders, despite being an "old white man", has so much support from the common people speaks volumes about the shift away from the Clinton-era centrism


How come that didn't come to pass in the most recent election?


Odd, that's not my impression. Seems like the center (on both sides) and non-libertarian right want to see him in jail.


Wikileaks is reliably anti-institution, regardless of what that institution is. That implies that anyone seeking political power through control of institutions would be against him, which includes basically all non-libertarians in the U.S, as well as any major corporation, NGO, or nation-state large enough to be a target. His support would come from smaller nations (like Ecuador) or civil-rights organizations that themselves serve as watchdogs for institutionalized power.


"seeking political power through control of institutions" seems entirely subjective. Why is someone on the far left running for office doing this moreso than a libertarian?


On the libertarian-authoritarian axis, "far left" could mean anything and is hence meaningless. If you're using that label to mean left-libertarian, then with respect to institutions they are simply libertarian.

But to the extent they're credibly running for office, they're likely tending towards left-flavored authoritarian because carrying the banner for policies that will benefit some entrenched interests is how elections are won in the US.


Because they have fundamentally different ideas for how much control those institutions should have over individual people. The far left (assuming communism here, which is the historical far left, though "far left" in America today is somewhat more tame) believes that all citizens should have an equitable distribution of resources, and that it's justified to compel people to work to achieve this equality. The libertarian philosophy is that people should not be compelled to do anything. One of these necessarily involves the exercise of more power by institutions.

You could look at it through the lens of positive vs. negative rights. The far left believes in positive rights (eg. the right to health care, the right to education) which require action by another party. If no party is willing to provide those services, the only way to guarantee that right is to force someone. Libertarians believe in negative rights (eg. freedom from violence, freedom from compulsion, freedom from taxation), which just require inaction. If you simply get rid of the institution, you assure the rights that libertarians care about - at least until some other institution crops up that seeks to infringe upon them. (Many libertarians make exceptions to their general anti-institutional bent to assure that no other institution crops up. For example, most support the government's monopoly on physical force simply to prevent some warlord from generating a local monopoly on physical force and using it to take away the freedoms from compulsion or theft, as long as that's the only purpose that it's used for.)


> to compel people to work ...

I'm not aware of any "far-left" party or politician in the US or Europe who says it's justified to compel anyone to work.

Taxing income or redistributing wealth does not compel anyone to work.

Indeed, it's right-libertarian policies that tend to transfer wealth from those at the bottom of the pyramid who work to those at the top of the pyramid who do not work.


> Taxing income or redistributing wealth does not compel anyone to work.

It does compel, as you are essentially taking wealth away from people, therefore they will have work more to compensate.


if you don't work, your income isn't taxed, so it does not compel you to work. You could not work and not be taxed

> it's right-libertarian policies that tend to transfer wealth from those at the bottom of the pyramid who work to those at the top of the pyramid who do not work

Historical experience suggests the opposite.


There are certain branches of communism that do believe in forced work for bad elements (criminals for example) of society. I don't believe any mainstream US or Europe politician approximates communism, even less that branches.

My take with GP is the question of where would the various left wing anarchists fit in his explanation. Also, I would argue that the classical critique against private property that right libertarians reivindicate is that the state is actually equivalent to the warlord on the example and is inevitable of the concept of private property.


[flagged]


I don't know the details, but Wiki leaks did publish leaked material about Russia over the years. For example, the surveillance stuff turned up after a quick search

https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/russia/


I think we all understand that that one is one to keep at arms length lest you have unusual chemicals delivered in your drink of choice.


I think we all understand that when you're being sheltered in a government's embassy, you should probably not piss that government off.

Unfortunately, 'we all' does not seem to include Mr. Assange.


Looks like Snowden deleted the tweet is he next or url was bad?


"5 years."

Isn't he facing 10 years in UK for fleeing on bail?

Does US extradite him, trial him, (jail him?) and then ship him off to the UK to serve his time there?


> Isn't he facing 10 years in UK for fleeing on bail?

IIRC it's up to 12 months for basically contempt of court / failing to surrender.


It would normally work in the opposite way: first he’s judged in UK, serves his sentence if any, and then he’s extradited.


Plus the 7 years of self-imprisonment in an embassy that he already served.


I'm not sure any judge will treat being on the lam as time served, but yes.


> Eastern District of Virginia

As expected




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